Posts Tagged ‘summer camp activities’

To a Sweet New Year!

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

As we celebrate the New Year, we can’t help but look back on all that was sweet last summer at Camp Starlight. We take this time to appreciate the beautiful gifts that camp gives all of us.

We are grateful for the friendships that form each year. Summer after summer, we welcome old and new friends into our life. Camp Starlight allows us to create special memories with our bunk mates while also exposing us to campers from other bunks and divisions. We are fortunate to experience divisional traditions so that we can form friendships in and out of the bunk. We are always excited to meet our camp siblings, allowing us to form bonds with campers regardless of their age. We work together on sports teams, league teams, and Olympic teams to bring us even closer to our Starlight Family. There are friends and there are camp friends. The seven weeks we have together makes our camp friends our best friends, and best friends are forever.

We remember all of the special counselors that helped us through the summer. We are so grateful for the counselors that come from all over the world to make sure we have a great summer. We reflect on all the hard work the counselors put in to take care of us and all their patience and kindness that they show. They help create the warm and welcoming environment that makes Camp Starlight feel like home summer after summer.

We look back on all the fun that we had at each activity and all of the new skills we developed. We focus on our passions while discovering new passions through new experiences! We take the time to remember all of the fun evening activities and special events that created so many laughs and memories. We cherish the songs, the cheers, the dance moves, and the spirit that is Camp Starlight.

We envision the beauty of Camp Starlight. We recall the feeling of driving down the mile-long road, lined with trees on both sides and the feeling you get when you wrap around the corner and see the image of camp after waiting 10 months. The endless mountains and the reflection of the beautiful sunset over lake as the day nears the end are so clear in our minds. Finally, we picture the stars that twinkle above our summer home. We think about the wish we made on a shooting star, that will hopefully bring us all home next June.

We look forward to a sweet new year and cannot wait to get back to our summer home for another summer of friendship, love, fun, and memories to last a lifetime.

Upper Debs Basketball versus Camp Tioga

Monday, July 8th, 2019

On Tuesday July 2nd, the upper debs from Camp Starlight fought with heart, spirit and ambition. In the beginning of the game, Lily A won the jump ball to start the game. Chloe B shot 7 points as Camp Tioga tried to shake her down. Carly E had two points to take the pressure off of the team, which boosted up the spirit of the game. Sienna K had great ball control when the other team tried to trap her in the corner. As the 3rd quarter was reaching the peak to finish, Myla W grabbed the rebound and held the ball with her life as Tioga was trying to receive it. Emma J and Shira R played good defense and made great passes. Cassidy W contributed with master mind plays and helped guide her team. Joie E, Emma D and Sarah T played good defense, which resulted in blocking the ball, rebounds and slowing down their best point guard. Lastly, Ashley W did a great job of controlling the speed of the game, and being unselfish with playing with her teammates. However, the girl’s efforts came out short and lost to Tioga, but a valiant effort was put forth. Great job upper debs!

Appreciation at Camp Starlight

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Written by Tessa (Lakehouse B)

The word “appreciate” is simply one of the many that would come to my mind when thinking of this beautiful place. If someone were to ask me, “what did you appreciate overall during your upper junior summer?”, the answer would probably be the 10 Dena gave us on inspection that day, or maybe the canteen we would get 3 times a week. Coming upon my following summers here, my division leaders have been the ones who impacted me the most. Tracie teaching us to always walk around with our heads high. Janelle’s infectious attitude always relating back to being kind. Megan teaching me how to be a good person or better triceratops, upon entering my first year in upper camp. Then came my upper deb summer in 2016. Let me just say one word. Eagles. I could never appreciate something more than that summer blessing me with the relationships formed with the 35 girls in my division who I proudly call my sisters. When I say sisters, I truly mean family. Lower Senior summer with Shelby taught me that I cannot sweat the small things, and that it is beyond important to cherish every second in this place. Shelby has never failed to teach me that when we’re in this place, there is no other option to be anything but yourself. It is now my seventh summer, and being an Upper Senior who has now carried each tradition to every division below has really shown me how to appreciate every little thing and moment. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one moment, I wouldn’t even trade it for an extra canteen! Reflecting on my past summer I realize that my favorite place has given me my best friends, memories, opportunities and everything in between. Appreciation doesn’t necessarily have to be a “where”. The “how” is something that touches me the most. They say that home is where your heart is. Camp Starlight has my heart.

Rainy Day at Camp Starlight

Monday, March 4th, 2019

A rainy day at camp is better than a sunny day stuck at home!

Summer weather in the northeast can be unpredictable. Sometimes you have weeks of high temps and sunshine, other weeks you’ve got off-and-on rainstorms. Thankfully, Camp Starlight is here to provide an exceptional camp experience, rain or shine.

When it rains, the entire camp is prepared. There are countless indoor activities to keep campers entertained and occupied until the sun comes back out.

Performing Arts

There is no better way to spend a rainy day than enjoying a good show. Camp Starlight gives creative campers an outlet to work on their performance and musical interests. From theatre improve to dance and instrument practice, campers can express themselves through the creative arts. Regardless of skill level, every camper is welcome to participate in some of the many performing arts options at camp.

Creative Arts

While music, theatre, and dance may be the rainy day option for some, other creative campers prefer the visual arts. Camp Starlight introduces campers to woodworking, ceramics, drawing, jewelry and candle making. Aspiring artists can channel their inner creativity in many different ways at camp.

Other Rainy Day Options

The Camp Starlight experience is designed to give every camper a unique and personalized sleepaway camp experience. This is why some programs offer additional options for campers who have specific interests, such as radio broadcasting, science, cooking, and digital photography. These options keep kids in their zone as the rain comes pouring down.

Indoor Athletics

While many of camp’s sports programs are designed to be played outside in the beautiful summer weather, some indoor options allow campers to stay active without getting soaked. Gymnastics, fitness and aerobics, figure skating, and basketball are a few examples of sports that can be moved indoors. These options give campers plenty of possibilities for rainy day fun.

Camp Starlight always has a plan. Camp staff and counselors are prepared for rainy days and have tricks up their sleeves to ensure a rainy day is still just as much fun as a sunny days. The best part about rainy days at camp is that you are still surrounded by friends.

We never let a little rain ruin our fun at camp. No matter what the weather forecast says, campers fill every day with new activities, great food, new friends and adventure!

 

 

Interpersonal Skills at Camp Starlight

Monday, January 28th, 2019

In a world where third graders have cell phones and middle school students are striving to be “Insta-famous,” it’s no wonder teachers, and parents are noticing that students lack basic interpersonal skills needed to be successful in the real world. This is why more and more adults are actively looking for ways for young people in their lives to connect with others and improve their communication skills. Camp Starlight is a great option for students not only to spend the summer having fun and trying new things but also provides a safe space for them to work on their interpersonal skills, meet new people and build relationships organically.

Listening

Being successful at camp means being able to listen to rules and expectations, follow directions and adhere to a schedule. Campers have a lot of freedom to make their own choices, but there are times when their safety, health, and wellbeing are dependent on listening to counselors and staff. Counselors make it a point to ensure all campers feel heard and demonstrate active listening strategies when campers are talking. Eye contact, body language, and asking questions are all way counselors show campers they are listening, and campers follow their example.

Campers are expected to listen to each other and avoid interruptions or distracting behaviors while fellow campers are talking. Learning to be a good listener will help campers be successful students during the school year and prepare them to be successful leaders as they enter the workforce.

Decision Making

Good leaders can make important decisions in a short amount of time. They understand how to use all the information that they have, consider their past experiences, common sense, and intuition, and decide with confidence. Campers are given hundreds of chances over their sleep away camp experience to work in their decision-making skills. From which activities they want to try each day to what they want for lunch, campers are trusted to make healthy, safe and smart decisions to customize their camp experience.

Problem Solving

While camp will easily be the most fun campers will have all year, not every moment is rainbows and butterflies. Campers will face challenges during their time away from home, and it may be the first time they are charged with solving big problems without their parents by their side. Counselors are always on hand to guide campers through obstacles and challenges, but encourage campers to find solutions on their own. After a summer at camp, campers are equipped with problem-solving strategies to help them become more effective leaders.

Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

In a world where children and teens do most of their communication from their phones or computers, it’s no surprise that many are lacking opportunities to practice good ol’ fashion face-to-face communication. Since screen time is minimal at camp, campers spend most of their time talking and listening to others, developing things like self-awareness, empathy, patience, conflict management and listening. They learn to read cues given off by other campers, and how to be aware of the way they interact with others, both one-on-one and in a group setting.

Camp helps campers bridge the gap when it comes to the critical interpersonal skills they need to be successful in life. And, as is most of the life skills that campers learn while they swim, fish, act, dance, hike, play, sing and explore, they usually have no idea they’re actually learning something. Every day, campers work on character building disguised as fun and leave camp more well-rounded than they came.

 

 

Snail Mail – Sending and receiving handwritten letters is much more personal

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

When was the last time you wrote a handwritten letter? When was the last time you went out to the mailbox to find a handwritten letter addressed to you? If you are like most people, receiving a letter in the mailbox instead of an inbox is a special treat to be treasured. The idea that someone took the time to sit down and put their thoughts to you on paper, find an envelope, a stamp and get it out into the mailbox is something to be admired in this fast-paced world, which is what makes receiving mail so special.

At Camp Starlight, campers look forward to filling their friends and family back home in on the details of their camp experience through a series of handwritten notes. But participating in the ancient art of “snail mail” is about more than just touching base with friends and family back home. Writing and receiving letters benefits campers in many ways.

During their break away from school, students typically have fewer chances to practice their basic reading and writing skills. Writing letters helps campers fine-tune this skill in a way that is fun and personal. There is no pressure to get all of the spelling right or indent properly, just an opportunity for campers to practice their penmanship and creative writing skills. Receiving letters from home also gives them a chance to brush up on their reading skills.

For campers who are growing up in a technology-driven world, a letter from home while at camp may be their first experience in getting something personal in the mail. There is an anticipation that comes with waiting for the recipient to receive their letter, and then excitement in receiving the response. This experience could foster a love and appreciation for handwritten notes in campers, and encourage them to continue the tradition throughout their lives.

A letter from home can be just the thing a homesick camper needs to feel better. A letter is a tangible treasure campers can hold onto and look back on whenever they want. It is a tangible reminder of their life back home and a connection to their loved ones.

Campers can write as many handwritten letters home as they wish. They are encouraged to use their quiet times to reflect on their day and write about their experiences and adventure to share with people back home.

A summer at sleepaway camp introduces campers to some of life’s most simple pleasures, such as songs around a campfire, enjoying a sunset and appreciating the art of snail mail. Just another way Camp Starlight gives campers experiences that they may not have had anywhere else!

 

 

Camp Starlight Appreciation

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Written by Hayden (Lakehouse B)

Appreciation is often missed in our daily lives. We always are onto the next, never really stopping to appreciate what we’re doing. To me, appreciation can take many, many forms. It can be returning a favor, doing something kind for someone, or simply saying “thank you”.

I came to camp starlight as an upper junior. At the time, I did not know how much I would come to appreciate this place, my second home. However, my appreciation for camp runs deeper than just being here. I find things to appreciate at camp every day, like my amazing division and my opportunity to live in the Lakehouse with them. The beautiful sunsets I watch on Friday Nights with my best friends in the world.

This summer, when I went to outdoor adventure, I had one of those small but special moments that happen when you’re at Camp Starlight. Normally when I have outdoor adventure, I head right for the fire – building, but that day I decided to try the high ropes. I got all geared up and headed for the zipline. It was very hot, and let me say, I am not the best climber. That didn’t matter to me. I climbed all the way to the top, listening to the encouragement of my friends below. When I finally reached the top, I was nervous and couldn’t stop shaking. Suddenly, right before I leaped off of the edge, I looked around, and the world seemed still. I looked over camp and just appreciated the view and how hard I had worked to get there. I almost succumbed to the day-to-day lack of appreciation.

So, that zipline taught me a valuable lesson. It taught me that sometimes we all need to take a minute in all of our fast-paced lives to just appreciate. Appreciate this beautiful camp, the wonderful people in it. The views we get to take in, and so much more.

Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Summer

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Everyone remembers his or her first summer at camp. They remember the countdown until the big day, the careful packing and the butterflies as they arrive at camp. When you arrive at camp for the first time, you have many questions and uncertainties. You’re curious about the games you’ll play, the food you’ll eat, and how you’ll like sleeping in a cabin. But before the first day of camp is over, most campers are settling in and finding their groove. If you ask most campers about the things they wish they would have known before their first summer at Camp Starlight, this is what they would tell you:

Camp friends become best friends

There is something about spending every day with the same group of people, experiencing so many “firsts” together and connecting over shared experiences that often combine to create lasting friendships. Camp friends become best friends because the entire summer is spent in such tight community, that it is almost impossible not to form long-term relationships with many of the people you meet at camp. You enter your cabin as strangers, and by the end of the summer you’ve shared stories and secrets and inside jokes, you build trust and encourage each other and listen to each other. Camp friendships aren’t tainted by social media, they’re organic relationships built on shared interests and experiences, and they often last a lifetime.

Being outside all the time is amazing

Some first-time campers worry about spending so much time away from home and away from their beloved smartphones. But if many campers knew all of the benefits of spending time outside and away from their screens, they’d be excited about all of the outdoor adventures waiting for them at camp. Camp Starlight is set on beautiful acres of land, surrounded by beautiful natural landmarks. Spending extended time outside allows you to soak in Vitamin D, breathe in the fresh air, and is great for your mental health. Any campers nervous about the amount of time spent outside at camp will quickly learn that camp is the best place to connect with nature.

There’s no need to be nervous

We know spending a summer away from home can be a little nerve-wracking, but veteran campers would tell you that there is nothing to worry about. Campers who let their nerves get the best of them miss out on some great camp experiences. Counselors work hard to make each camper feel comfortable and at home as soon as possible. While it is normal to feel nervous when trying something new, it’s important to remember that camp is specifically designed to be the safest, coolest, most exciting place for kids and teens to spend their summer. There is a 0% chance that you’ll have a horrible time at camp, so there is nothing to worry about.

Teamwork makes the dream work

The sooner you learn to lean on your fellow campers and counselors and work together, the more fun your camp experience will be. The people you share a cabin with quickly become like family, and counselors become trusted role models who work to ensure you have the best summer possible. The summer camp experience is meant to be shared, and you will have much more fun when you work together with other campers and counselors. New campers may be hesitant to ask questions, but if they know how ready and willing seasoned campers and camp staff are to help, they’d feel a lot better about seeking out help. Everyone at camp is there to help each other!

It would be the time of my life!

You will have many assumptions and expectations about your first summer at camp, but there is one thing you can know for sure: you will have the time of your life! Most campers get a general idea that summer camp is designed to be a fun place to spend a few weeks, but if you knew what was truly in store for you, you’d be jumping up and down to get here! Seasoned campers can tell you until they’re blue in the face about how life-changing summer camp can be, but there’s only way to really experience it, and that is to sign up for your first summer camp experience!

There are many things you don’t know about camp until you get here. You won’t know many of the camp traditions, how to sing the songs, the fastest way to get to your cabin, or what activities to try. There will be many questions and a lot of things you will have to learn along the way, but if you can come to camp knowing these five things, you’ll be ready to jump into the camp experience!

 

 

Coming Full Circle at Camp Starlight

Monday, November 26th, 2018

A significant number of our counselors are campers who just can’t get enough of Camp Starlight. Some of our veteran camp counselors and staff members started out as wide-eyed, excited, first-time campers who fell in love with sleepaway camp. The camp experience is ingrained so deep into their life that there’s no place they’d rather spend their summer. Some can barely remember a summer that wasn’t spent at Camp Starlight, and they love it that way.

The first year a counselor comes back to camp in a leadership position instead of a camper can be a surreal experience. As they grow as campers, they are given new roles and responsibilities in leadership that prepares them for this role. They serve as big brothers and big sisters for first-time campers and are trusted by counselors and staff to set a good example for younger campers. This prepares them for their role as the ultimate summer role model. When campers evolve into counselors, it means they are fully equipped and ready to help first-time campers have the happiest, safest and most memorable summer of their lives.

Counselors who grew up at summer camp know the campgrounds like the back of their hands. They have formed relationships with other counselors and staff, are familiar with schedules, rules, traditions, and expectations that make camp run smoothly. Their experience as a camper gives them a head start on camp routines and helps them lead in confidence.

Former camper counselors, those who transition from camper to counselor, can share the love of sleepaway camp in a way that others can’t. New counselors can learn to fall in love with camp, but former camper counselors have this love embedded in who they are and naturally share this love with new campers. These counselors have experienced almost everything a camper can experience, so they’re able to relate with common new camper experiences.

Camp Starlight loves all of our counselors, but there is a special place in our heart for full circle counselors. We’ve watched these campers grow and evolve into responsible young adults who are passionate about providing the best sleep away camp experience for every camper, just like a counselor did for them.

The first summer spent as a counselor is a unique blend of new experiences and comfortable familiarity. Counselors quickly fall into the familiarity of camp, while happily embracing their new roles and responsibilities. Every day is different as a counselor and provides a new appreciation and respect for the leaders who came before them.

 

Every year, campers reach the point where they have to decide whether to end their summer camp experience or come back as a counselor. We know that being a camp counselor isn’t for everyone, but view it as the most significant indicator of success when campers choose to come back as a leader. Camp wouldn’t be the same without our dedicated counselors!

 

The Importance of International Staff

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

The staff at Camp Starlight is comprised of a wide range of people that hail from countries scattered all over the globe. Camp Starlight becomes a placed infused with so many cultures and new traditions in the summer when staff come from places such as New Zealand, England, Mexico and South Africa. When all these people come to Camp Starlight it can provide campers and other staff members with valuable insight into different lifestyles and help them learn about cultures that differ from their own. It is so valuable to have these international staff members because it helps Camp Starlight become a summer camp enriched with new ideas and cultures. Internationals can help bring new songs to sing around the campfire and new types of friendships bracelets to make for your friends, mixing up the regular everyday American camp customs. They also inspire people to travel and experience new things, broadening minds on different opportunities to take advantage of across the world. It is so important to have international staff so that the campers can still keep learning even in the summer. Even though summer camp is supposed to be a break from school, campers are learning so many important lessons and things about all these different cultures when they come to Camp Starlight. International staff helps campers remain curious and ask questions about things from all over the world, making Camp Starlight a better place for campers every summer.